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Ask Don: Using your emergency notification software

We would like to use our CodeRED system to disseminate important non-emergency messages to our citizens who wish to receive them. How can we accomplish this capability without compromising the integrity of our notification system?

emergency notification software
Don Hall, ECN’s Director of Government Relations

This is a very good question, especially since it has been a topic in the news lately. In order to make the CodeRED emergency notification software as versatile as possible for our clients, we provide optional database selections to meet the needs and specifics of each message campaign that is launched. The key is setting up protocols and training your system users to recognize how to select the proper database.

Located in the very beginning of the CodeRED message building process is the option to select either an Emergency Database or a General Database for this particular call. When selecting the Emergency Database, the system will access all of the public contact data loaded in your system. This information will come from our nationwide compiled data, the Citizen Opt-In data and any other databases that the client may provide, such as E-911 data, public utility data, etc. As a rule, E-911 data can only be used for making emergency calls.

When the General Database is selected for a non-emergency message, it will only pull the records from the citizens who have signed up to receive these types of messages through the Web-based Citizen Notification Enrollment form. Although not as robust as the emergency data, the general data selection will ensure that the citizens receiving this call have asked to be notified and will not likely be upset over receiving the call. This provides the best solution for you as it allows you to still use your system in this capacity. It also allows you to maintain your integrity by not sending the message to unwanted recipients at the same time.

Generally speaking, the overall tolerance level of the community will vary from one jurisdiction to the other. Most public officials will likely have a feel for that, using other historical events and feedback that was experienced. Keep that in mind as you determine how and when to use your mass notification system in the future. Saving lives is the goal for every public safety official. When used correctly, your CodeRED emergency notification software can be the best tool in your tool box in this regard.


ECN opened up the opportunity for you to connect with Don Hall. Hall has spent more than 40 years in public safety so his emergency management experience makes him ideal for helping our current clients, potential customers and the emergency management community to interact with regarding the need and use of mass notification systems for state and local governments.

This platform was created to make your questions for Hall, heard. If you have anything you would like to ask him, please click here to email your question and he will address your question directly, right here in our “Ask Don” blog.